Once shelled and peeled, fava beans resemble edamame, except that they taste kind of bitter when raw. They come in large pods and within each pod is a bean that is in a shell. The pod itself is very strange because it is lined with a sort of white, sticky foam. Kara and I were both very skeptical when we started shelling the fava beans. I read that you don’t need to shell the fava beans but we did anyway because the skin was pretty thick and waxy. The shelling process was tedious but the final product, our Fava Bean and Pea Puree, was surprisingly tasty.
The color was a vibrant green and once seasoned, the puree was quite good. It is a nice springtime appetizer and I think it pairs well with a glass of white wine. I felt like I was eating something very earthy and, minus the bread and cheese, healthy. We love bruschetta, and trying out new ingredients is always good. This was definitely a different and creative type of bruschetta, but now it will be a springtime recipe we make again.
1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
1 cup fava beans, shelled and peeled
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
rustic bread, cut into half inch slices (we used Italian)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bread slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Shell the fava beans, and remove the fava bean skins if they are thick. We removed all our skins.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add minced garlic and heat, just until fragrant. Add the peas, fava beans, 2 mint leaves, lemon juice and lemon zest and cook until heated through, 3-4 minutes, or so. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree. Add Parmesan cheese and continue to puree, adding olive oil slowly as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You will probably need to add at least 1-3 more tablespoons of olive oil to get a smooth consistency.
To serve, top toasted bread with a spoonful of the pea and fava bean puree, a piece of fresh mozzarella and top with a fresh mint leaf. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and serve immediately.
Source: adapted from The Cilantropist